We featured Uniontown student Kate Sennett and her new service dog Toganga a few months back. Here is an update on Topanga’s training. Toganga is currently in Phase 2 of training which is Advanced Obedience training. In the advanced obedience phase Topanga will learn not to jump on people, perform loose leash walking, heel when handler stops, follows commands like “leave it” and “drop it”, and she will also train in public places such as Lowe’s or Home Depot that allow pets. She will also learn many more skills. She was scheduled to complete this phase by the end of May but due to the COVID-19 pandemic this is postponed. The trainer is not able to come to their home to continue the training, so Kate’s mom has a list of things to work on with Topanga. She also keeps in touch with the trainer and has been able to do some FaceTime calls with her.
Topanga has been a blessing to the family especially now since Kate’s daily routine has changed. She has been having a lot of meltdowns and sometimes doesn’t sleep well through the night. This remote learning is very difficult for her. One good thing is that Topanga is always there for her. Topanga tries to comfort her by rubbing up against her and licks her face during meltdowns. Even though Topanga’s hasn’t completed all her training, she has a natural instinct and knows what she needs to do. Topanga also sleeps with Kate every night. They are like two peas in a pod.